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How to Change the Narration of WH Questions with Examples

There are two types of interrogative sentence – Yes-No questions and Wh questions.
A Yes-No question can be answered simply with a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’ while a WH question is to be answered with another word or words or a complete sentence (except ‘Yes’ or ‘No’).
Here we’ll discuss what will be the indirect narration if the reported speech of the direct narration is a wh question.

Read more: How to Change the Narration (basic level).
Read more: How to frame wh questions.

How to Change the Narration of WH Questions

How to Change the Narration of WH Questions

Let’s see...
Mainly three or four types of question are there,
Structures –
Like,
(I) WH + verb + object + ? (Who did it?)
(II) WH + helping verb + subject + verb + object? (What do you want?)
(III) WH + noun + helping + subject + verb + object (Which book do you want?) Etc.


Now let’s see the structures:–

Structure 1:
Direct – Subject + say, “WH + verb + object + ?
i) Replace say/says/said with ask/asks/asked or enquire/ enquires/enquired.
ii) Remove the inverted commas.
iii) Write the reported speech including the WH as an assertive sentence by omitting the question mark (‘?’).
So here is the final indirect structure.
Indirect – Subject + ask/asks/asked + Wh + verb + object.
E.g. –
Direct – Kamla says, “Who breaks it?”
Indirect – Kamla asks who breaks that.

Direct – Ben said to me, “Who calls you a liar?”
Indirect – Ben asks me who called me a liar.

Direct – She said, “What helped him yesterday?”
Indirect – She asked what helped him the day before.

Direct – I said, “Who did it?”
Indirect – I asked who had done it.

Structure 2:
Direct – Subject + say, “WH + helping verb + main verb + object + ?
i) Replace say/says/said with ask/asks/asked or enquire/ enquires/enquired.
ii) Remove the inverted commas.
iii) Write the reported speech including the WH as an assertive sentence by omitting the question mark (‘?’).
So here is the final indirect structure.
Indirect – Subject + ask/asks/asked + Wh + verb + object.
E.g. –
Direct – Joe said to me, “What do you want?”
Indirect – Joe asked me what I wanted.

Direct – Derek said to me, “When did you come here?”
Indirect – Derek asked me when I had gone there.

Direct – You say to your sister, “Where are you going?”
Indirect – You ask your sister where she was going.

Direct – I said to my father, “How did you do it?”
Indirect – I asked my father how had he done it.

Direct – She said to me, “Whom don’t you see there?”
Indirect – She asked me whom I didn't see there.


Structure 3:
Direct – Subject + say, “WH + noun + helping verb + main verb + object + ?
i) Replace say/says/said with ask/asks/asked or enquire/ enquires/enquired.
ii) Remove the inverted commas.
iii) Write the reported speech including the WH + noun as an assertive sentence by omitting the question mark (‘?’).
So here is the final indirect structure.
Indirect – Subject + ask/asks/asked + Wh + noun + verb + object.
E.g. –
Direct – You said to me, “What book do you want to read?”
Indirect – You asked me what book I wanted to read.

Direct – Maroof said to his mother, “Which shirt did you buy for me?”
Indirect – Maroof asked his mother which shirt she had bought for him.

Direct – Rakib said to Akil, “Which village do you live in?”
Indirect – Rakib asked Akil which village he lived in.

Direct – Kamal says to Bimal, “What chocolate don’t you like?
Indirect – Kamal askes Bimal what chocolate he didn’t like.



Okay, now we are going to discuss how to change the narration of a WH question with be verb –

How to Change the Narration of a WH Question with Be-Verb:


Structure 1:
Direct – ...say, “WH + be verb + object + ?”

i) Replace say/says/said with ask/asks/asked or enquire/ enquires/enquired.
ii) Remove the inverted commas.
iii) Write the reported speech including the WH + noun as an assertive sentence placing the objet before the be verb.
iv) Omit the question mark (‘?’).
So here is the final indirect structure.
Indirect – ...asked Wh + object + be verb.
E.g. –
Direct – Rihit said, “Who is the man?”
Indirect – Rohit asked who the man was.

Direct – Grandmother said to me, “How are you?”
Indirect – Grandmother asked me how I was.

Direct – They say to him, “What is your name.”
Indirect – They ask him what his name is.


Structure 2:
If both (the reporting verb and the reported speech) of them are in past tense, the indirect narration will be in past perfect tense (had + V3). The third form of every be verb is been. So the past perfect tense, in this case, is had + been.
Hence, we have to use had been instead of was/were.
E.g. –
Direct – Kafil said, “How was your day?”
Indirect – Kafil asked how my day had been.

Direct – The teacher said to my sister, “Why were you absent yesterday?”
Indirect – The teacher asked my sister why she had been absent the previous day.

For negative sentence use a 'not' between had and been.
Direct – He said to his brother, “Why weren’t you present there?”
Indirect – He asked his brother why had not been present there.

Thank you...

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